FAYETTEVILLE, NC - The Fayetteville State Broncos fell to the Elizabeth City State Vikings 20-13 on Saturday evening at Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium in the CIAA opener for both teams.
The Broncos fall to 1-3 on the season and 0-1 in conference play, while the Vikings improve to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in CIAA action.
Fayetteville State quarterback Chauncey Concepcion (So., Charlotte, NC) was the team's leading player on offense as he tallied a season-high 167 yards passing on 16-of-26 attempts, while also running for 14 yards on seven attempts and the team's lone rushing touchdown. Andre Montgomery (Fr., Goldsboro, NC) led all Bronco running backs with 64 yards on eight carries, while Colon Bailey, Jr. (Jr., Manteo, NC) had 48 yards on eight carries. Montgomery finished the contest with a 8.0 yards per carry average and Bailey, Jr. averaged six yards per carry. Fayetteville State had two players with over 60 yards receiving each as Kasunn Williams (So., Rocky Mount, NC) had 60 yards and Ricardo White (So., Monroe, NC) recorded 61 yards.
DaRonte McNeill led Elizabeth City State rushing in the contest with a game-high 153 yards on the ground and a touchdown on 33 carries. Quarterback Namon Jones finished the contest 14-of-23 passing with one touchdown and one interception, while Darrius Wesson had a team-high 49 yards receiving and one touchdown catch.
"We knew Elizabeth City State was going to line up and hand the ball off to McNeill, and I thought we did a pretty decent job until the last touchdown that he got," said head coach Kenny Phillips. "We bottled him up pretty good. He had 153 yards rushing, but they were 153 yards that were earned. There was nothing easy about it. They hit us on some third down plays that we normally get off the field on. I told the football team after the game that defensively the only disappointment was our third-down defense tonight. We gave up some easy first downs that I thought was the difference in the football game."
The Vikings took the game's opening drive and marched 55 yards down the field on 11 plays, and saw their drive capped off with Wesson's 18-yard touchdown reception from Jones for the only score of the first quarter. Concepcion scored the only touchdown of the second quarter as Fayetteville State tied the contest at 7-7 on his touchdown run from 14 yards out.
Bronco kicker Antonio Mayo (So., Jacksonville, NC) gave FSU a 10-7 lead with 9:48 remaining in the third quarter on a career-long 42-yard field goal. Mayo's field goal capped a 10-play 50 yard drive that took 5:12 off the clock. Elizabeth City State kicker Brett Symonds put the Vikings back ahead 13-10 on back-to-back field goals from 26 yards and 29 yards, and then McNeill extended ECSU's lead to 20-10 on his 10-yard touchdown run.
Mayo trimmed Fayetteville State's deficit to 20-13 on his 41-yard field goal with 44 seconds left in the game, but that would be as close as the Broncos got as their onside kick attempt after the field goal was recovered by the Vikings.
Linebacker Bryce Williams (Sr., St. Petersburg, FL) led all Fayetteville State defenders with 16 total tackles (11 solo, 5 assisted), three sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Free safety Michael Johnson contributed 12 tackles (four solo, eight assisted), one interception and one fumble recovery.
Nigel Rios had a team-high nine tackles for Elizabeth City State, while Brad Davis had two sacks and Justin Beatty recorded one interception.
The Broncos will remain in CIAA play next week as they travel to Murfreesboro, NC to face the Chowan Hawks at 6 p.m.